Friday, September 14, 2012

The Manhattan Projects #6

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Pitarra

Considering that The Manhattan Projects is set firmly in the middle of the Cold War, it's a surprise that it is only with this issue that we see behind the Iron Curtain, and learn just what the Soviet equivalent of the Projects is.

Like the Americans, the Soviets tried to snap up as many Nazi scientists as possible, and this issue revolves around one of them - Helmutt Gröttrup.  Gröttrup had led the Nazi science base Oberammergau just prior to the Americans seizing it, as was shown in an earlier issue, and instead ran into a Soviet patrol, which was filled with unexplained squid-headed robots.

This comic follows Gröttrup's career, as he is literally branded a Nazi, and made to work in Star City, a Soviet project that involves rockets.  Gröttrup works steadily for his freedom, although personnel changes in the Soviet system make that seem unlikely.

In relation to this book's usual craziness, things are a little quieter this month.  We do learn that the Tunguska Event was alien-related, although Soviet attempts to reverse engineer the technology they recovered have not been too successful.  The preponderance of squid creatures is never fully explained, but I'm sure we'll get back to that at some point.

This issue is much more human than any of the previous ones, as Hickman shows Gröttrup as the victim of a number of unfortunate coincidences.  Visually, this comic is as good as it ever has been, as colourist Jordie Bellaire mostly sticks to a red and blue palette.

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